A Japanese worker (above) turns steel on a lathe at a factory in Tokyo. Japan has one of the oldest workforces in the world Tsuo Inouye/AP/File
Commuters walk across London Bridge during morning rush hour in London. England, like many European countries, faces debt problems rooted in part in the demographics of aging and the cost of pension programs. Getty Images
A Chinese worker sweeps a walkway at the Forbidden City, home to emperors past, in Beijing. China has one of the most rapidly aging societies in the world. It faces what is called the ‘4-2-1 problem’ – the idea that, thanks to the country’s one-child policy, each young worker may need to help take care of two parents and four grandparents. Jeff Hutchens/Getty Images
BBC employees, some holding placards, joined a strike outside the organization’s television center in west London in early November. It was part of a two-day journalists’ strike over planned changes to the organization’s pension system. Lefteris Pitarakis/AP
Employees of the National Agency for Employment (Pole Emploi) demonstrate over pension reforms in Paris last November. Despite widespread street protests, the French government raised the retirement age from 60 to 62 as part of a broad-based austerity package. Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters
Supervisor Eric Headley (left) heads back to his office while working for Pimlico Plumbers in London. Britain has raised its fixed retirement age to help cope with a yawning budget crisis. Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters
Ren shuanggeng (r) provides information to two Census workers at his home in Beijing in November. China kicked off its once-a-decade census Monday, a whirlwind 10-day head count that will see 6 million census takers go door-to-door to document the massive demographic changes taking place in the world's most populous country. Ng Han Guan/AP
Today's announcement of restored diplomatic ties between Cuba and the US comes after five decades of antagonism, including the 54-year-old US trade embargo against the Communist island. The Christian Science Monitor covered the embargo from the start.
ByBertram B. Johansson, Latin America Writer
Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff/File
Today, President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced that the United States and Cuba are restoring diplomatic ties after five decades of antagonism. The US has maintained a trade embargo against Cuba since Oct. 19, 1960. Below is The Christian Science Monitor's story from that day.